ESCANABA - Escanaba Area Public Schools has made "Adequate Yearly Progress" according to its annual report for the 2011-12 school year. The findings of the district's annual report were briefly discussed during Monday's Escanaba School Board meeting.
According to Escanaba Superintendent Michele Lemire, every year at this time annual reports are provided per state and federal law to show how each school and school district performed during the previous school year.
"In the annual reports, you'll find some student assessment data that will give progress on how Escanaba did on the MEAP, on the MME (state assessments), as well as the NAEP - the national assessment," she explained.
The data is then assessed to see how students and sub-groups in the schools performed throughout the district.
The district is also required to report on its Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) status - a requirement from No Child Left Behind.
"Adequate Yearly Progress is calculated by looking at student achievement, student growth over time, progress toward school improvement and also, achievement gaps," said Lemire.
Another portion of the annual report features the education qualifications of the district's teachers.
Escanaba made Adequate Yearly Progress according to the report - which factors in the five tested subjects of reading, writing, math, science, and social studies, but also takes attendance rates and graduation rates into account. Lemire also mentioned Escanaba Senior High School's recent designation as a Reward School due to its significant improvement toward student achievement. She also highlighted some of the report's statistics from the past school year.
"We had 116 Escanaba High School students participate at the Career Center," she said. "That's phenomenal. We're glad that students are being exposed to careers that way and it's right in our backyard."
Twenty-four students were also dually enrolled last year, while 148 took Advanced Placement classes, and 167 students were served by the district's Indian Education Program.
"The 2011-2012 Annual Report is still a snapshot of last year, and it's one piece that we look at," explained Lemire. "A lot of the data in there is where we begin to look at where we're going to move forward for our school improvement plans."
The 2011-12 Annual Report is accessible on the district's website - www.eskymos.com - and paper copies are also available in the principal's office of each child's school.
Online learning opportunities at the high school were also a discussion point during the meeting.
High School Principal Doug Leisenring spoke about the district's implementation of drop-out prevention program, the American Academy, which was implemented this past year.
"If we signed them up for the American Academy, it's typically students that dropped out of Escanaba High School and dropped out of Bay Middle College," explained Leisenring. "This company partnering with us provides them with a little Netbook and Internet access so they can take this online curriculum to try to recover credits to get back on track for graduating from high school."
At different times of the year there were approximately 20 students enrolled in the American Academy - which has been extended for a second year. Leisenring noted the average student in the program this last year was 14 credits away from graduating - before he shared some success stories of those participating in the program.
Overall 80 classes were completed for a recovery of 24 credits. Leisenring is anticipating more growth this year through the program.
"The other thing I'm excited about this year is that ... we also have the opportunity now to offer some elective classes that some of our students may take through the American Academy," he said.
These elective classes will first be tested during the semester by five students. If these electives work well, the goal is to extend them to more students to give them an opportunity to participate in elective courses they otherwise might not have available to them.
The high school is also looking to create some added online opportunities for students. One example for this coming school year is the creation of an online government class for talented students wishing to take another class in addition to their six-class course load. If the online course works out, the hope is to extend a similar opportunity to other students.
In other business, the board:
approved a newly updated three-year Teamster's contract for Teamster Union employees. Lemire said after the meeting the main provisions in the contract include: a zero percent raise, wage and benefit reopener in the agreement's second and third years, and - like other labor groups - employee contributions of 20 percent to their health insurance, as well as dental, and vision.
approved the following personnel hires: Jamie Pirlot for the 20 percent itinerant kindergarten technology teaching position; and Phil DeMay and Tom Morrison as junior high football coaches.